This magnificent helmet is a tour de force, a masterpiece of the Renaissance metal worker’s art, combining embossing with engraving to produce both high relief and fine detail. It is made in two pieces to facilitate the intricate work on the back of the plates which raises the metal surfaces in selected areas and patterns. Its proud comb rises from the base of the skull, its own profile superimposed on the skull, rather than extending the shape of the skull as with Northern European examples. The vast majority of decorated armor, even the finest, is etched: a process which chemically removes some of the metal surfaces, producing a contrast with the undisturbed metal. This helmet is hand engraved on embossed surfaces. Both techniques are labor-intensive and reserved for the finest examples. Combining the two techniques as seen here is very rare. The right side depicts a Roman Centurion in the crested helmet with a cloak over scale armor and is signed by the engraver with his initials. The left side depicts a Roman general, probably Mark Anthony, wearing the laurel wreath of victory. The right side is signed with the artist’s initials behind the central figure. The field decorated with foliate strapwork in a stippled ground. The brim is embossed in a radial pattern identical to that of A120, Wallace Collection, an embossed Milanese morion of 1570-80. This helmet is further distinguished by its full fighting weight, whereas nearly all embossed armor is quite light to facilitate embossing. Typically, examples of this form are made for guard units with mounts for plumes, which add a flair in public. This example is pierced through the comb to mount an armorial device, an emblem reserved for nobility and royalty. It is bespoke, made to order for a noble owner in the finest fashion, and of full defensive capability.

Item ID: FNS1761

Certificate of Authenticity

All items purchased from The History Gift Store are accompanied by a signed and dated Certificate of Authenticity with the name of the item and its unique item number for future reference.

Certificates are suitable for display with your item, and can easily be mounted in a 8½" x 5½" frame. Our certificates are printed on an acid free 65lb cardstock. This means your certification will not turn yellow or deteriorate over time.


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